Kodiak Daily Mirror - Kodiak firefighter s son was on engulfed fishing vessel
Kodiak firefighter's son was on engulfed fishing vessel
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Oct 22, 2013 | 456 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As a firefighter, Jim Pickett knows what to do when flames erupt in a home.

On Sunday, he was left to wait as flames engulfed the fishing vessel Western Venture. Aboard the ship, 70 miles west of Adak, was Pickett’s son Kodi.

“I’m just glad everything worked out and glad everyone’s all right,” Pickett said.

Kodi and four others from the Western Venture were rescued Sunday afternoon by the good Samaritan fishing vessel Aleutian Beauty, which sped to the scene after hearing of the emergency.

All five crewmen from the Western Venture are being taken to Adak. “From there, they were going to be picked up by a charter at 4:30 this evening,” Pickett said on Monday afternoon. “(On Tuesday) they’re going to have some paperwork to fill out and talk to the Coast Guard.”

Pickett and others packed a box of clothes and replacement identification for the Western Venture’s crew, which lost all but the clothes they were wearing when they abandoned ship in survival suits.

Pickett said he learned of the Western Venture’s accident while working his second job as a security guard. “I had missed the call because I was in the emergency room,” he said.

His wife called the hospital’s front desk when he didn’t answer.

“It just kind of hits you like a ton of bricks,” he said. “It was a trying day yesterday. … I pretty much stayed at work the whole day yesterday because I couldn’t think about sitting at home.”

After being pulled aboard the Aleutian Beauty, Kodi was able to call Pickett and tell him what had happened.

On the morning of the accident, the Western Venture encountered good weather that allowed the longliner to make its first set in several days. As the crew sat down to eat, “they looked out the window, and there’s some smoke coming from the front of the boat,” Pickett said.

“My hat’s off to the skipper of the boat,” he added. “He got the guys off the boat and they did what they had to do.”

A Coast Guard helicopter was scheduled to search for the abandoned Western Venture on Monday afternoon to determine whether it remains afloat. At last light Sunday, it was afire in a channel between Tanaga and Gareloi islands.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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